A.J. Ryan is a Newfoundland-based cartoonist and freelance illustrator. A proud graduate of the Independent Illustration program at Seneca College, she has never stopped creating. Although not born with the pencil in her hand, she was wooed into art in her 20s. She quickly learned that it wasn’t talent but skill building that mattered. So she has dedicated herself to building line-mileage and understanding as well as sharing this message with everyone.
The Important Parts
A.J. graduated from Seneca College in 2012 with a certificate in Art fundamentals and a diploma in Independent Illustration. She also participated in the Independently Together Graduation Gallery Show (Dec 2012).
In April 2014 A.J. completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, focusing on novels and fiction with a minor in History that focused on Ancient History; from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
When she returned from Seneca she hit the local convention circuit with Sci-Fi on the Rock 2014 and Avalon Expo Alpha 2015. She was also a part of the initiative to have a nighttime Figure Drawing session in St. John’s which began with the support of the Group of 77, known for their daytime sessions which she attended prior to her university graduation. Sadly, the nighttime sessions ended as well as her free hours in the day.
However, she has continued to draw and create art which is most often posted on instagram.
She also works as a writer and editor/proofreader, rounding out her Freelance Identity: Click here for information on AJ’s work with Cork Board Edits.
While A.J. dreams of publishing her piles of manuscripts someday soon she has published a Speculative Fiction Serial on Wattpad. It’s free to read, so click here to enjoy Kinetic: A Super Hero Story.
August 2017, A.J. started Cork Board Pens to make fountain pens and creative pen/ink supplies available to people in Newfoundland. She also teaches folk who have always been curious about fountain pens, other fine writing materials, and more.
The Details (For fun)
10 extra things about A.J…
1. I am enthralled with radio shows, podcasts, and experiencing all manner of music. Music is a huge part of my writing process.
2. I am always up to something. Sometimes it’s drawing, calligraphy, comics, and hand lettering or reading about art, artists, and art history. Often I’m delving into animated shows and learning about every facet.
3. I delight in reading and writing about fiction using critical theory. I also enjoy pondering and writing on Cultural Studies and Cultural Theory. Essays and research papers were my bliss in university. I think, if I had the means and opportunity, I would love to be a Professor.
4. I have Celiac disease, Erythromelalgia (Mitchell’s disease), Depression, and Anxiety. I’m open and unashamed of my battles and illnesses. As a result, I transitioned to a gluten-free life and then further to a plant-based whole foods lifestyle (Vegan).
5. I am also interested in fitness, as well as strength and resistance training.
6. Favorite Television: I love historical, medical, and law dramas. Some of my favorite shows are Grey’s Anatomy, Call the Midwife, Arrow, Supergirl, The Fosters, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Wynonna Earp, How to Get Away with Murder, IZombie, and Once Upon a Time. Home Improvement shows are my guilty pleasure.
7. Favorite Animated Shows: RWBY, Avatar the Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Little Witch Academia, Star Wars the Clone Wars, Pokemon, Star Wars Rebels, Red vs Blue, And Young Justice.
8. Favorite movies: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Holiday, The Young Victoria, Frozen, Summer Wars, The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition, and Star Wars.
9. Favorite video games: I used to be a gamer. I love the industry, but I keep it at arm’s length. These days I’m a hobby gamer. My favorites are the Final Fantasy series, Legend of Dragoon, 007 Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64, Pokemon, Bioshock, Dragon Age Origins, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, The Sims, World of Warcraft, and Skyrim.
10. Favorite Music: Hans Zimmer, The Once, Mumford and Sons, Lorde, Our Lady Peace, 30 Seconds to Mars, Utada Hikaru, Woodkid, Adele, Breaking Benjamin, Katy Perry, Alabama Shakes, Snow Patrol, Billie Holiday, Dario Marianelli, Philip Glass, and a bunch of film composers.